Covering a vast number topics in a nearly hour-long talk at the BWI Business Partnership’s Transportation Think Tank, BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Executive Director Ricky Smith’s talking points ranged from its “V-shaped” economic recovery of passenger numbers to its capital program to the investments that will be needed for the facility to reach the Federal Aviation Administration’s forecast of 35 million passengers by 2030.

During his address, Smith also discussed three ways BWI Marshall garners revenue ― its airfield, terminal and landside ― via its cost, recovery and allocation processes. A major part of his talk concerned BWI Marshall’s Capital program, which stands at $276 million for fiscal 2023.

Present capital projects, which are slated to come online over multiple years at BWI Marshall, include the $425 million Terminal A/B connector and its baggage facilities, which he pointed out is the airport’s “largest ever.”

Future capital projects will include a new checkpoint, an operations center, updated baggage screening and a lounge, as well as the long-discussed in-facility 200-room hotel, such as those found at the Orlando International Airport and DFW International Airport, which are all components of the future secure terminal C/D updates.

Before taking questions, Smith discussed the importance of airports to economic development. In the case of BWI Marshall, the most recent figures indicate that the airport generates a $9.3 billion impact in the region, creates and supports 106,000 jobs, $4.1 billion in total earning power and $592 million in state and local taxes.
He concluded his talk by noting that if BWI Marshall reaches 35 million passengers by 2030, the economic impact would rise to $13 billion; however, “Everything” from the roads to the facilities “will then be too small” and require updates.

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